Shawn Arena, A.A.E.
My name is Shawn Arena and I am the Instructional Leader and Aerospace Magnet Program Manager here at the Academies @South Mountain.
The 2020-21 School Year marks my fifth year at South Mountain. The Aerospace Program here at "The Mountain" is THE legacy Program of the school and has been offering aerospace related courses since 1989. Flying Jaguar Alumni have successfully attained career success as Airline, Corporate, and Military aviators, aircraft maintenance technicians, air traffic controllers, as well as other aerospace contractors and support administrators.
We are proud to offer several Pathways to high school students including: Flight, Operations, and Maintenance. South Mountain is one of very few schools nationwide that specialize in aviation and aerospace education, offering opportunities for Private Pilot Certification, Introduction to Aircraft Maintenance, Introduction to Aviation Management, Aviation Human Factors, Air Traffic Control as well as prepatory certification for FAA Commercial Drone Operations.
My professional background includes 30 years of airport operations and management. I am an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and have held airport management positions at four commercial passenger airports - John Wayne Airport, Orange County, CA (SNA), Phoenix Sky Harbor Interational Airport (PHX), Des Moines International Airport (DSM) in Iowa, and Redding Municipal Airport (RDD) in CA. I have also held airport manager positions at four smaller, general aviation airports - Phoenix Goodyear (GYR), and Phoenix Deer Valley (DVT) Airports, Chino Airport (CNO) in Southern California, and Benton Airpark (O85), in Northern California.
I am an Adjunct Assistant Professor for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Campus, College of Aeronautics teaching on ground at the three Phoenix campus locations (Luke AFB), Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA), and Sky Harbor, as well as virtual Online and Zoom Media Broadcast modalities.
I hold a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of Southern California, a Masters Degree in Aviation Management, and Masters Degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
I also am a Private Pilot with over 400 hours flight time with Airplane Single-Engine-Land ratings with a Light Sport Aircraft endorsement. We look forward to talking to you about student opportunities in aviation- drop by the Administration Office to schedule a tour!